In the news

It’s been a crazy few months in mental health news (pardon the pun), so let’s do a little rundown of the mental health news you want and need. We’ll do this round-up from time to time to keep you in the loop.

All the love

In January we celebrated Bell Let’s Talk – an annual initiative where the country’s biggest telecoms provider invest in mental health. The messages of hope and all the talk about how mental health affects our lives was incredible. As was the $6.5 million donation to mental health programming as a result.

What’s better though, is how we’re starting to recognize mental health in the workplace and celebrating the private companies stepping up.

Sure, you may not like paying so much for your phone package. You may be a bit cynical about a major company donating to mental health, and where that money goes. You may even question the values of the company after hearing bad news stories.

But we believe in celebrating those who have done something good, so here’s the story of one of our founders and our biggest corporate sponsor and how they work together through mental health issues.

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When is it enough?

Late last year the Government of Newfoundland and federal government negotiated a health deal that will mean $160 million in new funding over the next 10 years.

“The majority, $87.7 million, will go to support home care services and the rest, $73 million, will go toward mental health initiatives,” says the news report quoting Health Minister John Haggie.

In this province we spend more than $3 billion on healthcare every year, so this is a drop in the bucket, but it’s good to see any focus on mental health.

There was a lot of controversy over the deal, signed late last year, because individual provinces were cutting their own deals.

Haggie, said it was the “best deal” that could be negotiated.

Band-Aid Solution

About a month later, the health minister announced that the 150-year-old Waterford Hospital would get some of that funding in the form of $650,000 for more nurses, psychiatric assessment and short-stay units. 

We – alongside many other mental health organizations – have been advocating for a new mental health facility, where infrastructure and supports are sorely lacking. And, while this investment is good news, it comes with a lot of buts.

It’s politically driven, not based on care for people, which has always been our biggest concern. We’ll see if it helps and follow up.

Meanwhile …

Other funding – about $140,000 – has been divvied up between 36 community groups offering addictions and mental health supports, including three schools on the west coast of the island for a program to teach emotional competencies and reduce aggression in elementary schools.

That’s a lot of programs sharing a small pot of cash.

Getting back to the good news

A professor at Memorial University has published a book providing an integrative model for mental health assessment, which will be used in training programs in psychology, counselling, social work, and psychiatry throughout North America.

“The book is about presenting a model that most mental health professionals … can use when they have to do a mental health assessment,” said Dr. Julie Gosselin, director of clinical training for the doctor of psychology (PsyD) program at Memorial in an interview with The Gazette. “It can be used by someone like me — a clinical psychologist who is looking to diagnose — but it also works for a social worker who is trying to come up with a good treatment plan for someone with mental health issues, or someone doing counselling with them.”

The book is called A Systematic and Integrative Model for Mental Health Assessment and Treatment Planning and is the first in a collection which will be released throughout the year.

Dr. Gosselin’s program has been increasing the sorely-needed number of licensed psychologists in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The fun stuff  

Amelia has a bit of news too! She’s releasing her latest album Watershed on March 10, which focuses on plenty of themes around mental health. She’ll be touring throughout Canada in the coming months and would love to see you.

In case you’re not able to come out, check out her stunning video and single for Gravity and watch out for some other huge news you can read soon.

Finally, in case you needed a tiny bit of joy today, check out the cute zoo animal Tweet Off from zoos all around the world. We all need a little pick me up after all that news!
As always, if you need help right now please call the mental health crisis line at (709) 777-3200 or Toll Free 1-888-737-4668. Someone is there to help you 24/7.